By Natasha Lomas
Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) and Atari have launched their first game together, under the Zynga Mobile Partner Program, announced this summer. The program allows third-party companies to tap into Zynga's network, while helping Zynga beef up its mobile gaming ecosystem as it seeks to grow its non-Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) business. Back in June, Zynga reported having 22 million daily active users on mobile, vs. 53 million daily active users on Facebook.
The game is a reworking of Atari's "Breakout" arcade classic. Players play as a character called Rodney, a bunny who’s on a quest to rescue various cute creatures from cages at the nefarious Evil Animal Testing, or E.A.T. (see what they did there?), Labs. The "Breakout" aspect of the gameplay involves using Rodney as the ball (it’s OK, he has a crash-helmet on) to bounce around breaking bricks to free the other animals. Additional playable characters can be unlocked, and there are 40-plus levels to bounce through.
The iOS app -- which works on the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad -- costs $0.99, with optional in-app extras to buy. An Android version of the app is listed as "coming soon."
Atari was one of a handful of initial partners in Zynga’s Mobile Partner Program, along with Phosphor Games and Crash Lab. The Atari brand is familiar to anyone who grew up in the 1970s as a maker of arcade games, games consoles, and home computers. Atari has long since stopped making hardware; the current leadership team is focused on leveraging IP and brand cachet, as well as pushing its software development efforts into mobile and social gaming -- hence the Zynga tie-up.